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Chris Leben: The CagePotato Retrospective Interview

CHRIS LEBEN vs. WANDERLEI SILVA
UFC 132, 7/2/11
Result: Leben wins via first-round knockout

“Wanderlei Silva was my hero. Me and my best friend would walk across town and go to this Japanese toy store that had bootleg PRIDE videos when I first started training, just to watch Wanderlei Silva fight, because that was back when you couldn’t really watch PRIDE in the United States. The guy scared the shit out of me. I thought he’d maybe kill somebody out there. So the fight was one of those ‘be careful what you wish for’ moments.

I wanted to fight Wanderlei Silva not because I thought I’d beat him easy. But I truly want to have epic fights. I fancy myself to be a martial artist, and somebody that strives to grow and progress, and I knew that was a tough measuring stick for me. There’s always that, ‘How do I stack up now against him?’ It wasn’t that I thought I could win. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m scared. I’m not afraid to admit that I think he’s a better fighter than me. But a man faces his fears, and that was more or less my thought process when I fought Wanderlei.”

CHRIS LEBEN vs. MARK MUNOZ
UFC 138, 11/5/11
Result: TBA

“I’d like to get back up there again. I’ve won four out of my last five. My Brian Stann fight was definitely a major bummer; I was not at 100%, you know, but he did great. I want to see how I stack up, and I think that I can be the guy with belt one day. So right now, Munoz and I are fighting for that top tier — the person who’s #1 contender after Chael [Sonnen].

I think I have a little more experience than Munoz, and honestly, I think I’m more technical. I think my jiu-jitsu game is sharper. He’s obviously a better wrestler, but I would say I hold the advantage pretty much anywhere. I’ve been doing it longer. If I wanted to tell you Mark Munoz’s best attribute, I would say it’s sheer will, and his toughness. The guy is a fighter. He’s a fighter at heart, so I know that it’s not gonna be easy. He’s a tough guy to put away.”

…AND BEYOND

“I don’t aspire to be Randy Couture. I aspire to be married with children. I have my gym; my true passion is coaching and training. I feel that I’m growing exponentially right now as a martial artist. So I want to see how far I’m gonna go, but definitely when I feel the time come, I won’t be afraid to hang it up. How much longer do I have, I’m not sure. I’m gonna have to listen to my body. But I give myself three to five. I’m not shooting to fight at 40, I don’t want it.

I want to be remembered for growth. I want people to look at me and say, ‘Wow, this is where he started and look where he ended up.’”

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mustache revival- October 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm
I don't consider myself a "fan" of any particular fighter, but I met Leben at Mr. Luckys in the Hard Rock after his fight with Aaron Simpson. It was about 2 in the morning, he was with a women I assume was his mom, and he was smoking and drinking Miller Lite, so he instantly became my favorite fighter.
Wiccyg- October 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm
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Nut Puncher 9000- October 18, 2011 at 2:51 am
Its a big mental shift when you start to worry about your legacy.
XENOPHON- October 17, 2011 at 11:26 pm
Good read...Leben is a straight shooter...and seems like he knows he got one if not two more chances at grabbing that belt before he decides to hang it up....looking forward is smart, being realistic is even smarter.
Todd M- October 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm
^ Yeah Leben allways pulls the best quotes, like the other one in the vid above too. Chris Leben should have his picture in the dictionary beside the word FIGHTER, the dude always brings it, is constantly improving and has been in some of the best fights in the history of MMA. Good Luck in the Munoz fight, Cage Potato will be rooting for you Catsmasher.
MrBlondeSL- October 17, 2011 at 7:14 pm
"I know I'm ready to commit violence on a dangerous level right now" fucking epic!
macreadysshack- October 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm
Leben's a great guy. Bought me a drink. Fun to hang out with - doesn't take himself too seriously. Still growing as a human being and I hope he doesn't stop.
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All the best, Leben. You'll always be the Catsmasher to me.
macreadysshack- October 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm
Goddamn. Nothing personal against Matt Lindland; for better or for worse, the guy is a natural born fighter, no doubt about it.
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But . . . that motherf***er was born with the most unfortunate face/body that I've ever seen on a person who doesn't qualify as being 'Special Needs'.
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I think that level of ugly should be qualified as a disability by the Federal Gov't. He should be getting a check every month just to have to get up every morning and look in the mirror.
Kaboom82- October 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm
touching.
his dudeness- October 17, 2011 at 2:49 pm
Leben is the man. Puts on great fights, speaks from the heart, he ain't perfect, he fights with emotion and puts on great fights win or lose.

I love watching Leben's fights, hope he has a few more gems for us and wish him nothing but the best.
RSparrow- October 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm
My buddy tried to pull the water prank on me when we were all shitfaced camping, and I've never seen someone's eye swell up so fast in my life. Leben you were walking the wrong way.
glassjawsh- October 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm
hahahahahaha matt fucking lindland looks like one of those elderly folks wandering aimlessly around a parking lot trying to remember where he parked his car.

even though he took the bus
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